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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker originally included a lightsaber-wielding Leia

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
(Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney)

More details have emerged about Carrie Fisher’s original role as General Leia Organa in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Before Fisher’s untimely passing, Leia was being set up to be “the last Jedi”. That’s according to the actress’s brother, Todd Fisher, who also noted that the character was going to potentially pick up a lightsaber for the first time on the big screen.

“She was going to be the big payoff in the final film,” Ross Fisher told Yahoo. Where Harrison Ford’s Han Solo and Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker got their own farewells in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi respectively, Episode 9 would have been Fisher’s time in the spotlight, with her brother revealing, “She was going to be the last Jedi, so to speak.”

Ross Fisher also hints that an expansion of Leia’s Jedi powers, first glimpsed in The Last Jedi, would have happened in Rise of Skywalker. He stated, “People used to say to me, ‘Why is it that Carrie never gets a lightsaber and chops up some bad guys?’ Obi-Wan was in his prime when he was Carrie’s age!”

Plans, unfortunately, changed. Ross Fisher has, however, teased just how much of Leia we can expect to see in Rise of Skywalker: “They had eight minutes of footage. They grabbed every frame and analyzed it... and then reverse-engineered it and [got] it into the story the right way. It’s kind of magical.”

While we’ll never get to see Leia cutting down the First Order with a lightsaber, we will at least get the chance to say goodbye in some fashion this December.

Catch up on all things a galaxy far, far away with our complete Star Wars timeline.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.